Tag-Archive for ◊ BOLIVIA ◊

Views 26 Sep Andean beliefs, a world of rituals and superstitions
 |  Category: Culture and Curiosities  | 11 Comments

Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador have the highest percentages of self-identified indigenous people, most of whom live in the highlands. The Quechua and other linguistic groups, such as the Aymara, have coexisted with the mestizos majority (people of mixed European and indigenous descent) for many centuries.

Their cultures are strong, autonomous and resilient to change and have influenced their country’s identity (through traditional music, food, language and superstition) to its core.

For travelers, experiencing these highland cultures firsthand can be as simple as getting on a bus, hanging around a typical village or shopping at a bustling local market. Here you will find the usual fare such as colorful ponchos, alpaca sweaters, Machu Picchu paintings and other crafts but also a funny little man: the Ekeko.

Andean beliefs, a world of rituals and superstitions

This ceramic doll symbolizes the Andean comerciante and odds are they look exactly like how you imagined an indigenous person from South America; colorfully dressed carrying many bags, in the Ekeko’s case filled with grains of rice, corn, sweets, confetti and even miniature dollar bills (or euros). This Andean buddy embodies abundance, fortune and prosperity…and makes for the perfect souvenir!

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Views 16 Jul Welcome to La Paz: big city flair and exciting excursions!
 |  Category: Must-see Travel Destinations  | One Comment

This fascinating metropolis with well over 2 million inhabitants (paceños) is located high up in the Bolivian mountains, with thin air and strong winds. At 4000 meter altitude it is the highest capital city in the world, well de-facto, because the legal capital is Sucre with only 200,000 inhabitants.

La Paz is truly the cultural and political epicenter of Bolivia and one of the oldest cities on the continent. The government resides here, as well as the biggest universities, and it breathes an air of excitement coming from the dynamic blend between tradition and everything modern. As far as entertainment you can find upscale nightclubs for all night fiestas next to folkloric bars called Peñas.

Plaza San Francisco is the meeting point for tourists in town. Around the massive church you can find a throng of hostels, museums and convenience stores but also traditional street markets, where you can witness indigenous shamans at work and pick up on some of the most colorful handicrafts in South America.

Welcome to La Paz: big city flair and exciting excursions!

Besides enjoying all this urban hustle and bustle, you should not miss out on some of these day excursions while you are in town:

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Views 10 Mar Both Sucre and Potosí: history, tragedy, richness and culture of Bolivia
 |  Category: Culture and Curiosities  | One Comment

Crossing the border from La Quiaca, Argentina to Villazón in Bolivia is like stepping into a different world. Say goodbye to the very comfortable buses, to the warm climate, the lovely empanadas and to drinking lots of mate de yerba. Say hello to the bumpy unpaved roads, freezing high mountain tops, food stalls on every corner, shoeshine boys trying to make a few pennies and coca leaves to combat altitude sickness. It sounds like chaos, but in the disorganization is Bolivias charm, it is vibrant, eclectic and exciting – a world away from Western culture.

Both Sucre and Potosí: history, tragedy, richness and culture of Bolivia
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Views 15 Ene El Salar de uyuni
 |  Category: Must-see Travel Destinations  | 2 Comments

For the past two months I have been traveling around South America. If you have the time and the funds to travel during your stay in this beautiful continent I highly recommend it. From the towering peaks of Machu Pichu, to the colorful rocks of Jujuy , the diversity and grandeur of South America is unrivaled. While I could go on and on about my different experiences in the valleys, rivers, mountains and plains of SA, for the purpose of this conversation I would like to focus on one country in particular; a country that captures the very spirit South America: Bolivia.

Bolivia. I can still remember the excitement I felt entering this country. For the majority of the Western world, the border crossings of South America are quite a different experience. While in the states and much of Europe, frontiers are typically traversed via car, with a great formality of character, when I went from Peru to Bolivia, I literally walked across the border. Sure there was a check in point to leave Argentina and to enter Bolivia, but the actual crossing of frontiers was done on foot, void of any customs. .

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 |  Category: Must-see Travel Destinations  | 3 Comments

As we needed more adrenaline in our blood, we decided to fly to Rurrenabaque to see Piranhas, turtles, crocodiles, monkeys, cobras, spiders, tapirs, kakadus and lots of other crazy animals.

Rurrenabaque is a smaller town in the North of Bolivia, on the Beni River. Lately it has become more popular with international tourism as it is an easy gateway for visits to Madidi National Park (within the Bolivian rainforest), as well as the surrounding pampas. Locals commonly refer to the town by its shortened nickname, “Rurre”.

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Views 02 Feb Some biased images of Bolivia
 |  Category: Tips & Testimonials  | Leave a Comment

I´m a ceaseless traveler, so staying in Cusco for over 3 months seemed a bit of a torture for me. I had to travel. And so, I went to a neighbouring country, a country of Che Guevara, Morales, Bolivar and coca leaves – Bolivia. The trip was an interesting experience itself.Some biased images of Bolivia
I went by bus, which takes about 11 hours from Cusco to La Paz. The border between Peru and Bolivia has to be crossed on foot, which basically means that you have to take off your bus, then stand in a long queue of natives and tourists, go through 3 checkpoints, get your stamp in the passport, and after that get on your bus again to continue the trip. After a couple of hours you´re safely in the administrative capital of the country. The city overwhelms you with its contrasts. On one side you can see shanty town, shabby houses built in a great hurry, and on the other side sky scrapers shredding a nice blue sky. The city centre amazes with its architecture ranging from 18th century villas until modern and smartly looking buildings, shining on you from above.

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